- Marseille and Barcelona - travel by bike, train, bus and ferry between two major cities
- Mediterranean culture - compare and contrast the French and Catalan (Spanish) Mediterranean coasts
- Camargue wetlands - Cycle on dirt roads through the Rhone delta wetland
- Canal du Midi - Cycle along a section of the waterway
- Emporda - Cycle through the lovely landscape of Catalonia
- Salvador Dali - Chance to visit Dali's Theatre-Museum in Figueres
- Greek ruins - Chance to visit Spain's most important Greek archaeological site at Ampurias
A cycle journey from Marseille to Barcelona that explores the wild beauty of the Camargue, medieval villages, the Canal du Midi, vineyards, Greek and Roman remains and the inviting beaches of Catalonia. We also travel by train and bus as we cycle the most interesting sections between the historic port cities.
Catalan Emporda - Cycle through this beautiful region
Camargue wetlands - Explore the regional park and natural reserve by bike
Mediterranean culture - Contrasts between the French and Catalan (Spanish) Mediterranean
Day 1 Trip starts in Marseille
Our trip starts in Marseille. An exuberant multicultural port city in southern France with a mix of grit and grandeur, Marseille was originally founded by the Greeks in the 6th century BC and has been a crossroads of immigration and trade ever since. The Tour Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 7pm for the welcome meeting and, slightly later, our first group dinner to get to know your fellow travellers. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you will need to arrive into Marseille Provence Airport (MRS), which is a 30-minute drive from the hotel. There are no included excursions today and if you miss the briefing, your Tour Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up. No cycling today.
Day 2 Explore old Marseille on foot; cycle protected wetlands of the Camargue
After breakfast we plan an orientation walk around old Marseille - including the old port, Place de Lenche, Place de Moulin, Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica and the historic Panier district. Later this morning we leave the city in our bus and drive for just over an hour to Porte-Saint-Luis-du-Rhone where we take a short Rhone river ferry crossing. It is here that we commence our first cycle ride into the protected lowlands of the Rhone delta alongside dikes and saltwater lakes, always close to the sea until we reach Saintes Maries de la Mer where we spend the night in the heart of the Camargue. All the cycling today is on good gravel roads. Our support vehicle has limited access to us today due to the cycle route. Strong Mistral winds can affect the region we are cycling in today and tomorrow. Please note that it may therefore be necessary to adjust, shorten or change the rides if the weather is bad. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 31 kilometres on the flat.
Day 3 Explore Camargue nature reserve by bike; visit medieval Aigues Mortes
Today we continue cycling on a mixture of paved and unpaved roads through the rivers, lagoons and canals of the Camargue and Rhone Delta. The area has rich birding opportunities and we will keep our eyes peeled for wildlife including the evocative white horses and Flamingos (seasonal). On our route we will visit the fortified medieval town of Aigues Mortes. Finally we reach Villeneuve-les-Maguelone where we end our ride today. We continue by train to Sete where we check into our hotel in the new part of town and you have a chance to swim in the Med. Sete is an ancient port and the old part of town is just 20-30 minutes away by foot. Our support vehicle has limited access to us today as cannot access our cycle route. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 75 kilometres (300 metres total accumulated ascent and descent).
Day 4 Cycle the Canal du Midi to Bezier; train to Collioure
We leave the Camargue today and cycle to Bezier along back roads and a stretch of the famous Canal du Midi. Today's cycling ends in historic Bezier where we get on a train (1hr 30mins) to the medieval port town of Collioure. This picturesque town has a backdrop of the Pyrenees and is set around a quiet Mediterranean bay. It is known for the impressive Chateau Royal de Collioure which dominates the waterfront. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 51 kilometres (270 metres total accumulated ascent and 220 metres descent).
Day 5 Cycle into Spain to Figueres, optional visit to Dali museum
Our cycle ride today involves some longer climbs and there are a few busier sections of road to be covered in the first 11 km. We then cycle inland on quiet back roads over the Banyuls pass, which marks the border between France and Spain. Entering Spain, we cycle south to Figueres, where we spend the night. The afternoon is left free for you to explore the town and you may choose to visit the famous Salvador Dali theatre-museum. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 50 kilometres (750 metres total accumulated ascent and 700 metres descent).
Day 6 Cycle Emporda region; optional visit to Greek ruins in Empuries
After breakfast we cycle from our accommodation off across the rolling hills of the Emporda region of Catalonia. We will take a rest stop in Empuries where you have the chance to visit the remains of one of the most important Greek settlements in Spain. The beaches here are inviting and you have the chance for a swim. We continue by bike to our hotel located a few kilometres outside Torroella de Montgri and close to the beach. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 58 kilometres (270 metres total accumulated ascent and 320 metres descent).
Day 7 Cycle through Peratallada and La Bisbal. Drive to Barcelona
This morning we cycle from our hotel through diverse scenery including stops at the lovely medieval villages of Peratallada and La Bisbal. Our route continues across low hills covered with oak tree forests before reaching the port town of Palamos. Our bus ride to Barcelona should take one and a half hours, arriving in the late afternoon. The Leader will arrange a final group meal to celebrate the end of the trip in this marvellous city. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 50 kilometres (470 metres total accumulated ascent and descent).
Day 8 Trip ends in Barcelona
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Barcelona. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Barcelona-El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport (BCN), which is about 30-45 minute drive away.
- 7 Hotel
From hold-your-breath experiences, to small and unscripted moments of joy; our small group adventures create stories to tell for a lifetime…